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Lactose intolerance

  1. Sep 20, 2010 #1
    Is anyone else lactose intolerant? What symptoms do you have? Is it possible to develop lactose intolerance as an adult?

    Basically, I never used to have any problems with milk products... until recently! About a year ago I went through a phase of cutting out all milk products out of my diet for health reasons, and this lasted about 6 months. After which I decided to drink milk and eat cheese and everything again... but now I think I may be intolerant to milk products! I havent figured out exactly what I am intolerant of... but I just drank a cup of hot chocolate 4 hours ago and now I dont feel so good! bloated... gassy... lol! yuk, sorry.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2010 #2
    Sounds like my situation. I still crave chocolate milk but i know it will end with an emergency stop or two to the rest room. Mine began around the age of 25 but I didnt quite get the hint for a year or two following.
     
  4. Sep 20, 2010 #3

    alxm

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    It's the other way around. The vast majority of adult mammals can't digest lactose, including the majority of adult humans.

    You should ask why some are lactose tolerant. The reason for that being a mutation that stopped the inactivation of lactase (the lactose-metabolizing enzyme) production in adults. This mutation occurred some time on the order of thousands of years ago, somewhere in northern Europe. (The highest rates of lactose tolerance in the world are in Scandinavia) It's a dominant trait, so it's been spreading since. So today, the majority of Europeans and North Americans are lactose tolerant. But like all mammals, until very recently in our evolutionary history, and only in some parts of the world, becoming lactose intolerant as you grow older is completely normal. (Because you don't breast-feed as an adult)

    (Note that it's of course not a binary distinction between tolerant and intolerant either; people have different levels of tolerance. The gassy/bloatedness you describe is the most typical symptom for those who have it.)
     
  5. Sep 20, 2010 #4
    Very true, and when you consider that in most cultures (no pun) the majority of dairy is eaten in the form of cheese or yogurt-like products, the consumption of raw milk is even more... out there. In addition to the GI symptoms, some people with allergies find that milk and unaged cheeses increase the volume and viscosity of phlegm... so the "far from binary" is completely accurate description.
     
  6. Sep 20, 2010 #5
    man, this sucks! I like drinking milk! I didnt quite believe it before, but I guess all the symptoms point to it. but hey, I'm ok now - 8 hours after drinking milk I'm fine again. maybe its all digested now :)
     
  7. Sep 20, 2010 #6

    alxm

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    Yup, it's a fun observation. The biggest milk-drinkers in the world are the Nordic peoples, but once you get down the the Balkans, it's all yogurt and cheese. Continue in the same direction to the Middle East, and cow's milk isn't used for anything anymore, it's all goat or sheep's milk - which has a lower lactose content. Once you get to Southeast Asia, there's virtually no dairy at all, nor lactose tolerance. Evolution and genetics plays a part in our cuisine!

    (Edit: It also occurred to me that you likely have culture affecting the evolution of this trait as well: Since there's obviously not much benefit to being lactose tolerant if you don't have animal husbandry. More people would probably get killed trying to milk wild animals than would survive off the milk :smile:)

    Well, you don't necessarily have to give it up. There's low-lactose milk you can buy, which is okay unless you have a very low tolerance. And you can buy pills with the lactase enzyme, which will give you a temporary tolerance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  8. Sep 20, 2010 #7
    No! I am going to defy my body and genetics!! I made my body intolerant, I WILL make it tolerant again!!! I'm gonna drink milk! all the time! see who's the boss!
     
  9. Sep 20, 2010 #8
    in fact, I am eating cream right now!
     
  10. Sep 20, 2010 #9
    on a more serious note - yoghurt and cheese? are the lactose gone in those products? what about cooked milk? and cream?
     
  11. Sep 20, 2010 #10

    Evo

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    One of the other reasons our ancestors weren't feasting on fresh milk products was no refrigeration.
     
  12. Sep 20, 2010 #11

    Borek

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    Lactose was oxidized to lactic acid.
     
  13. Sep 20, 2010 #12

    Evo

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    wikipedia to the rescue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactose_intolerance
     
  14. Sep 20, 2010 #13
    Mmmm... tart... tastey... god I love yogurt and aged cheese. :approve:
     
  15. Sep 20, 2010 #14
    Glad im not around for the aftermath of this little experiment....
     
  16. Sep 20, 2010 #15

    turbo

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    Clear the path to the bathroom!
     
  17. Sep 21, 2010 #16
    Defying your own genetics... I think that needs to be added to the list of famous last words. :biggrin:
     
  18. Sep 21, 2010 #17
    lol. awww thanks you guys!
     
  19. Sep 21, 2010 #18
    yes! this totally makes sense! - yoghurt is sour and some cheese has a sharp taste!
     
  20. Sep 21, 2010 #19
    ok, I will do the experiment (in the privacy of my room) and let you guys know of any progress!
     
  21. Sep 21, 2010 #20
    Heh... good luck, and um... wear diapers. :wink:
     
  22. Sep 21, 2010 #21

    lisab

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    There's just too much intolerance today, and I think we should all work to become more tolerant. Best of luck, nucleargirl, I'm glad you're going above and beyond, trying to make the world a better place.

    :tongue2:
     
  23. Sep 21, 2010 #22
    I agree Lisa! I think we should ALL do this! lol... wouldn't that be a funny... smelling world...
     
  24. Sep 21, 2010 #23
    by the way I'm currently unemployed, so its ok for me to do this... I wouldn't recommend to start experimenting at work... lets just say, day 1 - no improvement yet...
     
  25. Sep 21, 2010 #24
    You know... this may not be the best idea... *wince*
     
  26. Sep 21, 2010 #25
    Look at this website for great nutritional information.
    They explain the many health benefits of raw milk. One interesting thing is that many lactose intolerant people can apparently handle raw milk products.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2010
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